(ETH) – According to a new report from The Times of Israel, there is a growing number of US Orthodox rabbis that are now officiating “Same-Sex Weddings”. One of these rabbis officiating these ceremonies is Rabbi Avram Mlotek, an Orthodox rabbi who leads an outreach organization for young Jewish professionals in the state of New York.
The rabbi stated: “If the couple is choosing to live Jewish lives, build a Jewish home and raise Jewish children, our traditional rabbinate must seize the opportunity to welcome and work with these families at their most precious life-cycle moments,” Mlotek wrote last year in announcing his decision to perform same-sex weddings.
“If we don’t, we risk further alienation and falling into an abyss of religious irrelevance by denying these couples their rightful place of belonging.” Mlotek is just one of many in a growing number of Orthodox rabbis who are breaking ranks by performing wedding ceremonies that until recently had been unthinkable in the Orthodox Jewish world.
According to a report from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, there were at least 10 Orthodox-ordained rabbis who have performed or stated that they were open to officiating religious wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. Even though this is only a small number it reveals a massive cultural change and shift in the Orthodox community, which is defined by its strict adherence to religious law and in which a decade ago it was impossible to find a single rabbi willing to do so.
“I think for most Orthodox rabbis, the prohibition in the Bible and in subsequent halachic works was somewhat intractable,” said Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, referring to the biblical prohibition on sex between men. “But what we do see, which I think is very important, is a change of attitude.”
The Times of Israel reported: “The rabbis identified by JTA include prominent figures like Rabbi Asher Lopatin, the former head of the liberal Orthodox rabbinical school Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, who said he would “seriously favorably consider it” if asked to perform a same-sex wedding.” “The Judaism that I believe in, that I think God gave us, is one that cares for people and addresses their needs and is meaningful for them, so Jewish law and Jewish tradition needs to address this,” said Lopatin, who leads a Modern Orthodox synagogue outside Detroit as well as the Jewish Community Relations Council in Detroit.